El Chino Ántrax pleads guilty, making a deal for a lesser sentence in the United States
After ten months of incarceration in the United States, Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, "El Chino Ántrax", chose the same path that his old bosses, Vicente Zambada Niebla and Serafin Zambada Ortiz, followed, by pleading guilty to charges related to of drug trafficking and criminal association.
As part of a deal made with prosecutors from the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), Arechiga Gamboa, a native of Culiacán, agreed give up a million dollars in cash or real estate, as well as cooperate with the United States government so they can identify drug transit routes used by the Sinaloa Cartel, and track down other high-ranking members who are still at large , among them Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
"All in exchange for a less severe sentence," sources from the USDOJ tell us.
However, according to the U.S. Criminal Code, the minimum punishment Arechiga Gamboa will receive is 10 years in prison, although he could also achieve the maximum penalty, which is imprisonment.
However, the plea deal for case 13-CR-4517-DMS, based in the Southern District of California, explains that in exchange for the manner which El Chino Ántrax is cooperating with the United States government, it is possible he will receive the minimum sentence.
In addition, explains the document in one of its sections, El Chino could receive a conditional release five years prior to the end of his sentence, whatever this is, thanks to the agreements reached by his lawyer, Frank Ragen, with U.S. authorities.
Unlike the Zambadas, Arechiga Gamboa was quickly assigned a date for his sentencing, which was scheduled for October 16, when judge Dana Sabraw will determine how many years that El Chino will spend in prison.
Present charges against past charges
Arechiga Gamboa accepted all of the charges presented by the USDOJ, although compared to the original record, many of the initial accusations were dropped or modified by the United States government, possibly in cooperation with lawyer Frank Ragen.
In the original record, which Ríodoce has a copy of, and the current document, you may notice certain changes, which according to scholars of that country, benefArechiga Gamboa.
For example, in the first indictment El Chino Ántrax is designated as one of the major Sinaloa Cartel assassins, and that he was involved in more than 50 drug seizures that were made both in Mexico and in the United States, and that "all was well documented to drown him in jail, if it was necessary".
As it was with the case in the trial of Vicente Zambada Niebla, preliminary hearings were drawn out, supposedly by "the complexity of the case", according to objections before judge Sabraw, or because both the defense and the prosecutor "needed time to strengthen their evidence".
It was not until last Thursday that that the El Chino had changed his mind, and that he is not pleading innocent, and now he was guilty.
In the current record, the creator of the armed group Los Ántrax simply acknowledged having trafficked drugs, and that he had participated directly or indirectly in violent actions against enemies of the cartel.
All charges arising from the trafficking of methamphetamine that were in the original indictment also were omitted, only the charge for "coordinating the movement of cocaine and marijuana" from Mexico to the United States.
Neither prosecutor Adam Braveman, nor the lawyer Ragen wanted to comment on these accusations, arguing that the case was concluded when Arechiga Gamboa accepted a guilty plea to the charges against him, and that all that remains is his sentencing.
Arechiga Gamboa recognized in the current documents, consisting of 17 pages, tpo have also been part of the Sinaloa Cartel, and since May 2005, to have become involved with aspects of drug trafficking, and that after working with the fraction of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, he began to move drugs on his own, but that he did it through others who worked for him, and people in coordination with the rest of the Sinaloans.
He would conduct these acts up until the time of his arrest. However, thanks to his ideas and tenacity, Arechiga Gamboa soon went from being a hit man to someone who moved drugs, a greater responsibility within the organization, in charge of coordinating large shipments of drugs from Mexico to the United States.
"The defendant, Arechiga Gamboa, admits that he, along with other members of the cartel, was responsible for moving large amounts of cocaine and marijuana"
Although the document does not detail the relationship Arechiga Gamboa had with "El Mayo" Zambada, nor with any of their children, or how he helped create the armed group "Los Ántrax", in his testimony Arechiga Gamboa acknowledges that the Sinaloa Cartel uses violence to attack and run off rival criminal groups that could place at risk the licit and illicit business of the organization.
"I recognize that I participated directly in acts of violence against people who represented a danger or a threat to the Sinaloa Cartel", it reads.
As part of the agreement for a more lenient sentence, El Chino Ántrax agreed to give one million dollars to the United States government.
El Chino Ántrax, who is currently being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, located in downtown San Diego, was arrested on December 30, 2013, at the airport in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
Originally the United States Government said it confiscated all the belongings of Arechiga Gamboa, including cash and properties, obtained directly or indirectly with money produced by his activities with drug trafficking, but like other road signs, this section is no longer mentioned in the new document.
According to media in Southern California, the security measures in the vicinity of downtown San Diego, where the court is located, they intensified.
Up to his ears in luxury
El Chino Ántrax had become famous in Culiacán for his excesses, not so much for his achievements in the world of drug trafficking. He was the creator of Los Ántrax, an armed group commanded by Ismael Zambada Garcia, said, but more than that, El Chino had achieved notoriety for being addicted to pictures of car collections, his suits tailored by the most famous designers, for his weapons bathed in gold with his name on the grips, and by appearing at events with celebrities in the middle of shows, among them Paris Hilton.
Until January 2, 2014, a report was leaked to the editors of Ríodoce: "El Chino arrested", said the informant. A few days later, the whole world knew who was Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, better known in Culiacán as El Chino Ántrax.
This is the chronology of his story, according to reports from the USDOJ and information published in mass media:
He begins as a bodyguard for Vicente Zambada Niebla, son of Ismael Zambada, "El Mayo".
He is involved in a formal manner with other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. It is this year when it starts to "move drugs".
He reaches higher levels within the cartel, even begins to coordinate the transfer of drugs for the fraction led by Ismael Zambada.
Together with René Velázquez, El Finix Ántrax, he puts together an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel known as Los Ántrax, who face off with the Beltrán Leyva brothers, once they break ties with El Mayo Zambada and Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
He began to gain notoriety for his excesses, including photos with celebrities, their wives and their sports cars. They are beginning to call him "Scarface reborn".
On December 30, 2013, Arechiga Gamboa is arrested in the international Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, which had planned to spend the end of the year.
On July 10, 2014, El Chino Ántrax is extradited to the United States, where his is wanted fordrug trafficking. A day later he pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges.
After a series of delays to the start of the trial, El Chino Ántrax pleaded guilty to drug trafficking before Judge Dan Sabraw, in a Southern California District Court. He is expected to be sentenced on October 16.
Yes, but I suppose he could be deported after his supervision is completed, but it makes no sense to supervise his release if he would be deported. It also seems he may have been allowed to keep cash and/or assets. It is interesting he is paying 4 times as much as Sera. The government seems to be very conducive to making quid pro quo deals for cash, while touting supposed "cooperation".
Considering the number of murders Chino claims, this is a sordid affair.
I know a guy in Tuscon who went to the government through his attorney and paid to have an investigation go away and he got to keep most of his assets. He wasn't even under indictment, but he knew a customer went down and it was a matter of time. He didn't have to give anybody up they didn't already have, and he was never charged with a crime.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
This seems really strange, I can't recall others having to remain here supervised, though to be honest I've never really looked into it. This whole sinaloa case has been strange from the start, I can't help but think of what strange bedfellows the US and CDS have made.
It really does seem like the government is unduly soft on the 'narco juniors', starting with Vicentillo, now Serafin and Chino. Is it a coincidence they are Zambada family? We don't really have any other examples to go by....Zetas and guys like El Diego de la Linea aren't comparable. Too much violence.
These Sinaloense legends really personified the gentlemen traffickers, we shouldn't be surprised by the light sentence, it's in accordance with Vicentillos, who was responsible for much more violence then Chino, and he got one of the best deals on record.
From what I understand, Chino wasn't really THAT kind of a killer, he led the Antrax, and has been around violence, and likely ordered it many times....but he wasn't like El Diego, or 'El Farmero' (Aztecas)
One may assume Sera and Vicente get a pass, they are family....but does Chino? Or is he no good in Culiacan anymore? Can he come home? In some ways it seems like cooperation on the other side of the border is deemed acceptable.
And, all this begs the question, who do they really want, if anyone? Mayo? Aquiles? La Rana? Will they give those guys 10 year sentences too?
It sounds like they really want Mayo, and they want Chapo's extradition, but they realize that won't happen.
On the other hand, was the government so involved with Sinaloa that they will give away the castle to protect the secrets? Is there evidence so damning that they led massive drug loads reach the point of consumption while sending thousands of guns south?
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Esp. looking at sentences others lower in the structure....and in general, not just this case. It's the life one chooses, in most cases, but thats a whole other story...Chino would either be poor in the street, or what he ended up being, and that is a socioeconomic, top down issue.....
so what in the fuck are these government agencies doing, and who are they doing it for? The amount of cynicisim and career building that drives these operations is sickening.....
it's just two sides of the coin, and your position in life will determine what side you fall on, and which side you believe in. You can't tell me Chino Antrax is evil, but the DEA administrators and agents are righteous....
and who is asking for ANY of this? If I asked every person in my building right now, no one would know who I was talking about, it doesn't exist for 90% of people....yet millions are spent, and people climb the ladder and it all gets used as resume benchmarks, and the prison industrial complex marches on, and thousands of people get paid no matter what, on either side of the divide. The world disgusts me most days of the week and hours of the day....